Designer, street-style star and one of the faces of Russia’s fashion revolution, Ulyana Sergeenko’s place on the fashion scene is impossible to ignore.
Sergeenko told Harper’s Bazaar a love of clothes has been a constant part of her life, even in the fashion-starved former Soviet Union. "Growing up, we only had two fashion magazines—Feminine Worker and Countryside Woman," Sergeenko recalls. "We had to sew our own clothes. I was well-known in school because I would always change the designs. I broke all the rules. So in a way I was born in couture.”
Following her marriage to billionaire oligarch Danil Khachaturov, Sergeenko became a key couture client of Valentino, Givenchy, Jean Paul Gaultier, Chanel, and her favourite, John Galliano at Dior, introducing her to the fashion industry. She first gained renown as a show attendee, photographed by Tommy Ton alongside other members of the Russian fashion pack, or the ‘Czarinas’ as they came to be known.
Sergeenko would often ask Moscow designers to create looks to her specifications, looks the designers would then feature in their collections, leaving Sergeenko frustrated and motivated to seek her due recognition.
In 2011 she started an eponymous fashion label that shows during the haute couture shows in Paris. She is represented by elite fashion publicist Karla Otto and has a team of 65 in Russia, where the collection is designed and produced.